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So it’s clearer than ever that lack of symptoms is no guarantee against infection. Wald said, “Asymptomatic shedding may be the central phenomenon of transmission.” In the old days, doctors would warn herpes patients to avoid sexual contact mainly when they had active lesions, believing that was the only time they were really contagious. -In the general population, one-fifth of women and 11.5% of men are infected. If someone with HSV-1 performs oral sex, the receiving partner may contract genital herpes, though it is HSV-1 rather than the typical 2.

— An effective vaccine against the virus that causes genital herpes has evaded researchers for decades.LEONE: So if you look at some population-based data in the United States and look at unmarried adults, meaning folks between the ages of 45 and 50, for women, we know the prevalence rate for genital herpes due to HSV-2 is between 50 and 70 percent. Herpes patients can take antiviral drugs to shorten their outbreaks — and to become less infectious — but no existing pill can make it go away altogether. So given that a huge swath of the population has genital herpes and that four-fifths of them don’t even know it, is testing the way to go?So we’re looking at close to the majority or the majority of folks in that age group who are single having genital herpes. FLATOW: Let me go over that number again because you’re saying that – it’s hard to believe – you’re saying that for women between the age of 40 and 50… If more people know they carry it, might they be more careful and become less likely to infect others? Anna Wald argues that yes, more testing would help.— Scientists have solved a puzzle of the immune system -- how antibodies enter the nervous system to control viral infections.Their finding may have implications for the prevention and treatment of a ...

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